I have enjoyed having the privilege to read and review this beautiful book for those on the journey of motherhood. Currently I am not pregnant but I enjoyed the hidden gems and the truths throughout the pages. Katherine Newsom paints a beautiful picture full of life and strength on every page. Pregnancy, human life in the womb and labor are often looked down upon in our culture. There is also often fear around childbirth itself. Katherine does an excellent job communicating the beautiful truths of childbirth and how we were designed and chosen to bring forth life and to do so without fear.
What I enjoyed the most was the Biblical thread throughout the book. Birth and the Bible are not focused on in depth. Most preachers or teachers will not even bring it up. It was fascinating to make these correlations as Katherine wove in God’s truth from His word.
For those that enjoy a chance to write notes or reflections there is a journal page at the end of each chapter. What I enjoyed was that this was a book that provided hope for my own journey as well as helped provide some reconciliation of my miscarriage. The grief chapter addresses loss in many forms. No matter your loss, it does not mean you and your child were not any less chosen.
Katherine makes it clear in remarkable ways how each of us are chosen. We are chosen to be life givers. We are chosen to steward life, live life and see God’s hand in the beautiful formation of a human being from conception to birth.
Momma, you are strong.
You are strong to grow a baby and birth it. Momma, you are strong amidst loss and baby birthing too soon. Momma, you are chosen no matter what part of this journey you are on.
Do you ever feel lost, dazed, and always behind?
Lately I have felt all these things not because of poor choices but because I am living my best life. Loving my family well is my first priority. I ask God daily for wisdom, insight and help. He has blessed us far beyond comprehension at this point.
Recently, I haven’t had time or the thought process to get my jumbled words out onto paper. I have had so many thoughts recently. Thoughts about human trafficking, the church, abuse, how Jesus heals, love, rest as a weapon and so much more. These thoughts are all wound up in my head like messy yarn. Instead of writing I see the beautiful faces of those I love and they have needed me more. When I begin one thing I am needed for someone else and I forget to finish what I began. If you are around when this happens please don’t take it personal. I am truly doing my best here to keep up with those that need me.
I often struggle with not being able to do everything I set my heart to get done. I have missed some writing deadlines, none that were required of me, but I set a personal goal to submit guest posts once a month. I found myself getting frustrated at myself for not being able to complete these submissions despite the drastic life changes my husband and I have had recently.
Have you ever been hard on yourself despite circumstances being far beyond your control? Why are we so hard on ourselves over things that don’t matter?
Once I realized how hard I was being on myself I chose to put my phone down, except to take photos, and enjoy the view. Whether it was hearing giggles and seeing smiling faces or providing tissues for tear streaked cheeks with heartache coming to the surface, I chose to be fully present in it all. I suppose I have been attempting to truly live this way since February but I hadn’t realized how much of our busy and performance based culture was imbedded into my DNA.
I have had to say, “no” more than I can count and take rain checks more often recently to ensure that I am fully present and living in obedience. This has also meant that goals have been slowed, not stopped, and life filled with other foreign things during a time unknown to us all. If I do not take the time to choose wisely I will miss it. What will I miss? I will miss those moments where those in my life need me and want to be the center of my world in that moment. I will miss the laughter and the hugs. I will miss the epic stories. I will miss the hiking trails and the messy faces, the scraped knees that need bandaging and my name being called in a sweet voice. I will miss the losses and the incredible victories.
I will miss the views.
The views that are beautiful beyond words and take your breathe away. The type of views you have prayed your entire life for and are struggling to soak in because it seems so surreal that finally you are living it!
Each of us must soak these views in because they will pass like a vapor in the wind too soon.
If you are struggling today to enjoy your view take a nice deep breathe in, exhale slowly and realize that this won’t last. You will miss some precious moments because they come and go in a blink of an eye. Give yourself grace as each day passes and a new one begins. Goals and dreams are waiting but those that need you won’t always be there like they are today.
Let each of us put down our phone, keep our wind blown hair and enjoy the views.
Today I felt like this might speak to someone who needs to hear this truth. Katherine Newsom is a new friend whose book, Chosen: Birth + Faith Through A Doula Lens, has blessed me greatly. It is set to release this Tuesday, July 28th. It can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Target.
As women, each of us are in different stages. Some of us are on our first pregnancy journey or on the third, 5th or more. Some of us are childless, having experienced the pain of childbirth too soon and a great loss. Others may not even be ready for the journey towards baby and growing a family.
Yet, each of us are chosen. What a beautiful truth that unites us!
If you have experienced grief from a loss of your child remember that does not make you any less of a Mother. Your child is important and worth celebrating no matter the length of time you had together. My Michael is up in Heaven enjoying building sand castles and rolling down hills full of lush grass. Perhaps some of your kids that have crossed the Heaven journey are joining him? Can you not imagine the giggles and squeals of pure joy? I want to live my life like that despite the loss.
Whether you’ve lost a child or not, this darling gift book is full of gems for any stage you’re blessed to behold and walk. Each of us are chosen. Your value exceeds anything you’ve done or been through.
Order by clicking here: Chosen: Birth + Faith Through A Doula Lens
I saw my paint brushes drying next to my coffee station the other day and felt pure joy! The simple things in life have given my heart somersaults. The recent months have brought about extreme changes. There is a stretching period where life attempts to find a balance.
Laughter has filled silent halls, bouncing from one wall to the next. Loneliness has left. Healing drips from Heaven.
This is life despite the challenges, the pain and the ache. Beauty intertwines like vines amidst the mess as tears fall and laughter fills deep bellies. Nothing can stop what God has begun. He brings us freedom and victory so that we no longer have to live life bound up and stuck in the mud.
Each day presents new opportunities for adventures and new memories to cover the painful ones.
Painting frees my creative soul as colors dance on the canvas. Jesus comes to join me and I get to enjoy His peace as I sip on fresh brewed coffee. These times with my brush and paints are far less than before but I love and cherish the moments I do get to have.
As life unfolds continuously I am grateful. I am grateful for a God who provides miraculously. When I say that He pays my paycheck I am not joking. Without His provision the past 4-5 months we wouldn’t have made it. Each month grows a deeper trust as God always comes through with supernatural provision from surprising sources. I have learned to celebrate and find joy in obedience and faithfulness knowing He is always there to take care of us.
Dear Reader, what is it that you need? What are some things you do that bring you joy and give your heart somersaults?
Thank you for being here and supporting my journey!
It can be easy to get caught up in life and feel the need to know everything. Somehow we tend to elevate ourselves on dangerously higher pedestals within our own minds to meet these grand expectations of knowing how to live life without flaw. At least for me personally I have had to ask the Lord for forgiveness for this way of living because this expectation of myself and the pride behind thinking I know how to meet all of what life brings within my own strength, separates me from Him. I become free and less weighted down when I can say, “I do not know how to do this. Can you help guide me?”
There is so much beauty in humility.
“To know” the ins and outs of life often comes with acknowledging that we are not the experts. We must come and ask God for strength and wisdom. Too many times we believe the lie that we have to know all the answers and know how to do all the things. It is not a bad thing to not know. In fact, not knowing is the perfect set up to know God. As we allow Him into everything we do in life, we can rest assured that He knows and we do not. A load can be lifted off of our shoulders.
If you are struggling to know how to parent, love your spouse, work, and navigate these crazy times full of masks and heated opinions, you are perfectly set up for a great victory. Because God knows and understands our weaknesses He is ready and waiting to help.
Humble living invites His loving support and strong yet gentle hands to guide us. If you feel frazzled today, you are in the perfect position for God to come and bring peace. It is okay to not know and it is okay to not feel okay. God knows and Has the best solutions.
He is ready and waiting. Are you?
It is beautiful to hope through impossible odds. Life is full of daunting circumstances and things often are out of our control. We can either settle with the grey and dismal normal or we can choose hope.
One of my strategies in life has been to choose hope everyday. Making this choice has been better than any anti-depressant. Hope confronts impossibilities and helps add oxygen into deflated lungs pressed heavy by trials. Hope is thrilling!
Hope helps us look through a different lens. Praise is readily on the tip of our tongues. Some may call us crazy and then look at us in awe as the impossible actually takes place!
Choose a different path. Turn off media outlets, set down your phone and go make memories with your loved ones. Pray big, bold prayers that ask God for the impossible and greatest things to take place. He will help walk you through anything you may face.
Hope big today and be swept up in, “the thrill of hope”!
I have been silent for longer than I intended. Words, so many words have tumbled through my mind like clothes in a dryer. Too many words have remained stuck inside. Pain deep in my gut for people I love; my friends, my family and my country. At times even pain over things within myself has come to the surface.
Amidst this time where the true nature of our world has surfaced… Where we finally see how crazy and bonkers things have been below the surface, hidden deep inside, revealing too many dark secrets from the depravity of sin… So much beauty has come forth. Healing is painful yet so breathtakingly beautiful. I would like to think that some of the turmoil we see is a nation beginning to heal.
It has been hope that has carried me during this time. I have learned that it is okay to not have the right words. It is good to have moments of silent reflection followed by breaking out in worship, because words and the feelings behind them become pointless when the nation is up in flames and no one wants to listen.
When words fail you. When pain runs deep. When healing needs to take place. When you need a miracle. When you stand before a giant. When everything is going up in flames. When life is good. When laughter comes from deep wells.
Worship through it all.
I was travelling to visit a friend this past week. During my drive I travelled through 3 different states. The lush green land slowly faded to a parched but beautiful brown. As I travelled I prayed for every soul.
My heart became so overwhelmed with love for my country. I wept. My beautiful nation is in so much turmoil and people are seeing the strife surface in more visible ways. What has been hidden is coming to light. Too many dark, broken and desperate hearts to keep count, yet I have wept and wanted you to know your incredible value.
America, my great country, aren’t you weary and tired? I know there are sorrowing people scattered in the millions. Do you know how much you are loved? ALL of you are loved.
Can we quiet ourselves for once and join hands once again? Will you join me? Can I help pray for a need you may have?
Jesus. He made a way to rest. His joy is waiting for you, today and the next day. Life can be much different. We can choose different; the good different; the holy-change-transform-restore your life different! Because… JESUS.
HE is your joy. Rest will be found with Him. ❤️ Jeremiah 31:25
Humanity has been seeking, racing, and fighting for justice and liberty since the fall of man. We were created to be free. We were created from victory. Yet, we see continuously from our past and our present the rise and fall of humankind. Horrible injustices and enslavement of precious people have occured and continue to reveal themselves.
Humanity attempts to figure out freedom without a true knowledge of the foundation needed to create lasting change. America at it’s birth acknowledged the need for their foundation to be centered on God yet we see a history full of so much sin… So much pain and hatred.
What we are currently seeing is another sifting. Many cry out for justice and liberty yet have no idea how to attain it. Many are acting on the longing and the desire to be restored to our God given design yet without Him their ways of attaining it are misguided. It is hard to watch people in so much pain! Yet if we could come together and humble ourselves before God, He would heal each of us.
The issue of racism comes from the evil in our hearts. It must be uprooted and dealt with. This is going to take more than just conversations and social media posts. It is going to take repentance and a complete heart change moving forward. Before we can ever come together we must come to God.
HE is the only one capable of bringing liberty and justice for all. The cross and empty grave reveal this victory has already been established. America has only to kneel before Him and turn from their wickedness. The government will never be able to give the people what they truly need. Systems will fail and people will continue to perish. With God we can all come together, unified, helping one another to thrive while allowing every voice to open in unified expressions of love.
Jesus is the only one that fulfilled and continues to fulfill our hearts cry for liberty and justice for ALL.
Without hesitation He is for you. Jesus is ready and willing to step into your life and situation and meet it head on.
On Sunday my husband and SD surrounded me and asked Jesus to heal my arm. I had injured it a couple weeks prior and due to continued use I had been in excruciating pain off and on for a few days. There was no immediate relief in the moment but I thanked God anyway, believing that it would get better in time.
Church has been in our home for quite some time now. Even before the quarantine I had been having church at home during my sabbatical. Church this Sunday was particularly special. To have my family surround me in the living room was very precious. It has brought us together in multiple ways; beautiful ways.
One gift of quarantine has been the gift of undoing the busy and being able to slow down as we focus more attention to one another. It should always be this way.
I went about the rest of the day, baking, prepping meals and playing games. It did not dawn on me for several hours that I was doing things WITHOUT pain in my arm or my hand. Finally, it hit me! I was pain free and was able to hold a cup in my hand without it falling out of my hand. Praise Jesus! He had healed me and my family were the vessels. Together we celebrated and it caused dialogue for the next day. My SD would ask if the pain was still gone and I’d lift up my coffee cup proudly and declare, “YES”… Leading up to my healing it hurt to even drink coffee with that hand.
As I was thanking the Lord on my own time the thought occured to me how quick God is to join us in every aspect of our lives if we let Him. God never hesitates. Without hesitation He is quick to help, to heal, to forgive, to bless, and to join us wherever we are.
Without hesitation He comes.